Martyrs are created by a confusion in understanding. Often there is a promise they feel was made to them and someone else failed to live up to it. The martyr demands that promise, no matter if it was real or not, realistic or not, possible or not, be kept. The martyr is the child or teen that never grew up and lives in self-inflicted misery. They refuse to realistically analyze their own life and personal connection with God, and refuse to take self-responsibility.

Think of the martyr complex in relation to the extremist Muslim and jihad, because it is their core belief (albeit demented), and mode of operating. "If I'm killed, I will be killed for the sake of God," said Ramzi bin al-Shibh, who is accused of helping coordinate the 911 attacks. "I've been seeking to be a martyr for years." Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who claims to be the mastermind behind the attacks, said he wished to dismiss his lawyers and plead guilty. The judge, Marine Col. Ralph Kohlmann, asked Mohammed numerous times whether he understood that he faces the death penalty. Mohammed told Kohlmann he could not accept any attorney because he believes only in Sharia, or Islamic law. "That is what I wish. I wish to be martyred," he said. So for these guys to be martyred means that thousands of others must die. [added in June 6, 2008]

Then, consider it as a cultural and religious belief that maintains itself through anger and pain - and builds through this kind of dis-ease. Love and responsibility is NOT spending a short lifetime planning one's death, and the death of one's children, through blowing up and murder. They're already dead (in every possible way), but just don't know it.

Martyrdom is also a mainstay in Christianity and Catholicism. It has been a tradition since Jesus (not the real Jesus, but the Church's version). Martyrs are being rewarded to this very day in the Catholic church (saints). Even Mother Teresa didn't feel worthy or good enough about herself and her work. The entire concept that God means suffering, fear, self-punishment, and guilt, contradicts love and trust. Ironically, a Christian motto is to treat others as you would want to be treated. Does that mean you want to treat others as martyrs, or victims? What is your idea of spirituality, or God, and how does that idea influence your daily activities, your politics, and how you treat others? Is it through love and kindness, or anger and punishment?

The profile and characteristics of a martyr:

has massive separation from God
has depression
feels hopelessness
feels powerless
lacks trust
feels love is painful and suffering
yet is afraid to feel pain
lacks intimacy
is always hiding
is anxious
is insecure
is fearful
punishes and likes to see others suffer
is into self-pity
has an overabundance of self-importance
is selfish
feels misunderstood and unappreciated
feels burdened
has no responsibility
lives for exoneration in the future, revenge, future vindication
thinks the present doesn't matter - martyrs fear reality
deny and lie because they're never wrong (in their mind)
has no compassion for anyone else
lacks honesty
lives in denial
feels that gratitude is weakness (because that implies responsibility, and martyrs aren't responsible)
has delusions about life after death - has no idea because of their own disconnection from God/higher self
feels it's never enough, they are never satisfied

It's a lose-lose complex - unless challenged and changed.